For some odd reason, the one thing that kids need the most, seems to be the thing that they reject. Food. If you’ve dealt with a picky eater, then you know how hard it is to make a kid understand that food is necessary for survival. If you don’t eat, you’ll be nothing but bones..literally.
It wasn’t until recently that my daughter stopped being picky. From about the time she was 3 to now (6 years old), getting her to eat a good home cooked meal was a lost cause. And I know what you’re thinking, “You probably can’t cook, which is why the poor girl didn’t eat.” But you’re wrong, I’m an awesome cook (I think), and my food is magically delicious (maybe or maybe not). It couldn’t have been that bad to the point of complete refusal. Or could it? My daughter refused to eat anything that was good for her. Chicken nuggets, hamburgers, french fries, junk, junk, and more junk. Yup, that was basically her diet. She only wanted the
good not so good stuff.
So how did we manage to turn this around? Well we tried a few things.
- We stopped giving her options. I made two separate meals. One for her and one for everybody else. But not anymore! You eat what I give you and that’s that!
- She had to at least try the food before dismissing it altogether. She had a habit of not eating the food without even knowing what it tasted like. That stopped too. You must taste the food. If you don’t like it…fine, but you will at least try it.
- Not eating dinner = immediate bedtime. This goes back to number 3. As we all know, you can’t force a kid to do anything they don’t want to do. If she refused to try her dinner, then off to bed she went.
- No desserts or juice. Thirsty? Well we have plenty of water. Want a special treat? Well tough cookie. No goodies unless you eat your food.
These may seem a little harsh, but we had to put our foot down at some point. And guess what…IT WORKED! Now, she almost always finishes her dinner..every….last…bite. The picky eating had to stop. Once she made 6, enough was enough. She was out of the cute toddler phase and capable of understanding that she needed to eat. Her cuteness wasn’t going to get her out of it anymore. Have any of you tried any special tricks to get your little one to eat?